Skip to main content

Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

See other formats

328                              UFE  OF
tunate epoch, of which I can give yon no description.
It seems to me^ that the death of a child has some-
thing more affecting than the death of an adult per-
son. Not ruled yet by its own will, it trustfully
follows that of others, and it seems as if one had de-
ceived its careless confidence, even if death is only the
result of mere blind fate.
" Dear Schiller, why are you not here now ? For
that I left you, I do not like to think. Rome has
enchanted me in every way, and it is even difficult
to leave the soil to which one has entrusted one be-
loved thing. You may imagine that I should not
remain a moment here, if I had to fear the least dan-
ger for my family." But this, he says, is not at all
the case. Peculiar circumstances had been combined
in the one unfortunate case ; the blooming health of
the other children showed that the climate was not
unfavourable. " You should have seen poor Wilhelm
a day only before his illness; and the Princess Rudol-
stadt will tell you that he bloomed like a rose, and
death has disfigured him but little....... Tou can>
therefore, let me remain here a few years longer, I
cannot tell you how I enjoy this residence. Here
everything is inspiring and cheering. I am more
fruitful in ideas, and even the sadness, even the bitter
pain,, leaves a clearness and cheerfulness of mind/*
In the commencement of the following year, soon
after the loss above mentioned, Madame von BDum-
boldt gave birth to a daughter, who died very soon.
She was, however, in such a delicate state of health,
that she undertook a journey to Germany to restore
it. Her doctor, Dr. Kohlrausch, accompanied her.
The newly-horn child seems to have died on this
journey. She visited the friends in Weimar in May;
it must have been a painful pleasure to Schiller to
meet her again in such bad health, and he does not
conceal to Humboldt that he felt uneasy about her.
From "Weimar Madame von Humboldt repaired to
Paris, as it seems, with the intention of gathering